Conflict should be resolved on time. Early intervention is required the better sooner than later. If conflicts are not resolved on time, it will lead to a condition known as conflict spiral. In conflict spiral, one thing leads to another. That's often what happens when people or groups have differences. It's the same in workplaces. Supervisors and workers or co-workers who once had a good working relationship have a falling out and positions harden, eventually leading to the kind of negative outcomes mentioned earlier. You get caught in a downward spiral a bit like the one shown in the following illustration.
Like a real twister, such conflict spirals can do damage-in this case, to working relationships. There may not be much we can do to stop a tornado, but something can be done to take the wind out of a conflict spiral. The sooner you take action through the kind of dispute resolution described in this publication, the better. The conflict spiral consists of the following steps.
- Problem emerges
- Sides form
- Positions harden
- Conflict extends beyond immediate context-may seek additional support
- Objectivity lost
- Sense of crisis
- Factions form
- Uncertainties arise about outcome
- Fewer options
- Problem intensifies